A Grateful Christmas Post

Merry Christmas to everybody! Just wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of you that have contributed toward our church-planting project. Almost half of the money needed for the entire first year of the two new church plants has already been given. This is a huge blessing and encouragement to us, and helps to eliminate a big part of the stress of expansion!

Speaking of these two new plants, here’s a little update. One of the new churches is close to the first church we planted here in this city. I say ‘close,’ but there’s well over 50,000 people between the two locations! Maybe a mile apart. Cong Wei is doing a fantastic job here. Their attendance is averaging in the mid-teens right now, and they’re having new people come regularly. Cong Wei and his core people have been out inviting people (in below zero weather, by the way) to their services, and they had a great turnout for their Christmas service – about 40.

The other plant is led by the young man we recently ordained, Ning. His plant is on the other side of town in a part of the city that is developing rapidly. He and his wife have led a Bible study there for about a year, and they have already seen some wonderful fruit. Sunday I was there and saw him baptize three. The church is definitely more ‘from scratch’ than the other plant, mainly because of their distance from the original church. Cong Wei had a handful of people go with him from our church to help him get rolling, but Ning was kinda out of luck there. But he already has something of a core there, too, and their attendance is about the same as Cong Wei’s place – and their special Christmas service had about the same turnout.

I go to both of these churches about three or four times a month. It is a blast to preach to these brand new churches and encourage them in their efforts to reach their areas. Plus the new plants make the regular training times that I spend with these guys far more exciting – there’s always a lot to discuss. It’s amazing how pressure lengthens your attention span!

So thanks once again to all of you that have gotten on board with these two very exciting new church plants. I think you will find it a very profitable investment over this next year! Both of the churches are taking offerings and teaching their people to participate in giving, hoping to achieve a measure of financial stability as soon as possible. If you want to join these others and lend your hammer to the project, there’s definitely still room! Please go to ProjectChina.org to help out!

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